First days in Bucharest
When asked if I would like to go to Bucharest it did not take me long to decide. Over the weekend I discussed with my wife and some friends and then said ‘yes’. And, on October 4th, 2010 I finally arrived in Bucharest.
My first week in Bucharest was filled with all the little tasks to get started. Set up my desk, learn to know the office, find a place to live. My major achievement of that week was to find an apartment, sign the contract and move in on Saturday. As I had to buy everything, from plates to cleaning stuff and bed linen, I have rented the delivery car from my hotel, including a driver. Lucian drove me to IKEA, supermarket & electronics store, negotiated prices, added stuff I would have not thought of. After 6 hours it was done and moved in.
Now I only had to get internet access, residential registration, mobile phone, learn to take a bus on my own…
Even if I had met the members of my team and some other colleagues before, I was not sure what to expect, when I really took over as head of PMO.
After some days I realized that the work environment is pretty much the same. We face the same problems: short deadlines, moving scope failing data connections, changing structures…
It was pretty easy to adapt to Romanian work style: Start late, stay later, discuss for long. While I became more Romanian, the Romanians remembered some of their German lessons: I was late, the colleagues punctual. Sometimes there were situations when I was not sure if a problem occurred due to cultural differences or language misunderstandings. But we know that kind of problems in Germany too: Just imagine locals from Montabaur & Karlsruhe working together.
Working in a multi-location work environment makes you an expert in setting up phone and videoconferences. Already from Germany I had started the recruiting of new team members. The video conference interviews were somewhat strange to me and to the candidates. Now, after 3 months, even my mother knows how to call her son using Skype.
It is a great experience to work with the Romanian colleagues: a young team with people who want to develop and are open to everything that is new & challenging. And as we work for all business lines in 1&1, there are a lot of challenges.
Bucharest is not really a tourist destination but there is a lot to discover. Some of the weekends I went roaming the streets of the Romanian capital city, making kilometres by foot in different neighbourhoods. This gave me an idea of the city. Still I do not know much of it. It is a mixture of old and new, poor and rich.
On my second weekend I got the opportunity to do my favourite sport and thanks to Adrian I have participated to the Bucharest Half Marathon. Some more kilometres through the city centre.
When my wife first came to Bucharest I was anxious to see how she would like the city after all those stories of stray dogs & taxi drivers gone wild. I was very happy when she liked it. I am looking forward to show her Transylvania & the Delta.
Thanks a lot to Vera who helped me to find the apartment, Magda who fought for my residential registration & Gelli who always had already encountered such a thing.
Thanks to my team, who stoically endure that strange German showing up early in the morning, asking stupid question, not able to order a taxi without help.
Thanks to @pizza. Pizza day made sure that at least once a week I got lunch.
Thanks to Kaufland, my provider of Schwarzbrot & Laugenweck.